Language Barrier

Tour guide with a thick accent: Alvight fovlks, vee are about to stop at the Bronx Soo. Anybovy vishing to see animalz need to get off.
Teenage girl #1 to her friend: I don't wanna see no damn Indians, do you?
Teenage girl #2: No, no, honey, not the Sioux. She was talking about the zoo.
Teenage girl #1: Ohhhhh.

–Uptown NY Tour Bus

Wardrobe consultant chick: Hey Jorge*, el foodo is here! Wait a minute, what’s the word again?

–Men’s Wearhouse, 34th & 5th

Overheard by: erak

Tourist woman on cell: That’s not even the right thing to say to somebody in a fight. A "punk" is from the 50s. It’s like a tough guy or a street guy.

–56th & 5th

Woman on cell: You know what pull my finger means? Well you better start pulling your finger. Pull it 24/7.

–12th & 1st

Guy: Korean words don’t end in vowels, you fuckhead. Except for "Korea"… and "Hyundai".

–Chelsea Market

Yuppie dad lecturing two school-age sons: Last week, this girl in my class said that something just sucked and I told her, "You know, when you’re in English class, vocabulary is cool, and it’s better to say that something is disappointing instead of saying that it sucks."

–Tip-Top Shoes, W 72nd St

Overheard by: Susan Volchok

Man on cell: Do you know what trifling means?? No! It does NOT mean truffle-making!

–17th & 6th

Overheard by: Thirsty Violet

Guy, passing "La Bagel Delight": That means "The Bagel Delight" in

–7th Ave, Park Slope

Girl to old man in baseball cap: What does the “E” on your hat stand for?
Old man: (unintelligible)
Girl: The “E”? What does it stand for?
Old man: (unintelligible)
Black lady observing scene: E stands for the English he don’t speak.

–A Train

Overheard by: Brenda

Old tourist woman to daughter, about gangsters shouting slang to each other: Is that French?
Daughter: No… That's Ebonics.

–Broadway & Waverly

Overheard by: Noah

Comedy club barker: Hey! You guys want to see a comedy show? Yeah, you do!
Guy: I'm sorry, man, I don't speak a word of English. Thanks, though.
Comedy club barker: Haha, I like that! Come see some comedy?
Guy, walking away: All I'm hearing is pops and clicks. Sorry.

–Bleecker & MacDougal

Overheard by: Thom Cohen

Deli guy (to another deli guy): He’s got a shrimp salad sandwich too. Here, I’ll mark the paper for you so you don’t get confused. I know your brain, it don’t work so good. Do you want me to write it in Mexican or in English?

20-something college student: I saw the movie Australia the other day, and I couldn't understand anything because they all had English accents.

–2 Train

Indian woman with accent, recalling story to husband: So I called up customer service, and right away the woman said "Oh, priti, you must be Indian". I said "No, I am not." I was like "What? Are you kidding me? I call customer service and they put me through to India? Then she said "Have you ever been to India?", I was like "No, I have not, is it nice?"

–Jackson Heights

Overheard by: Marie Z.

10-year-old girl, emoting mockingly for her minder: And I can see *Russia* from my *house*!

–74th & Broadway

Overheard by: Harriet Vane

Woman on cell: It's okay, I've got a plan. We'll move to Mexico, buy a lemonade stand by buying parts from a guy called Javier, earn some money, then smuggle ourselves and our belongings over the border to America, where no one will know what happened.

–5th Ave

30-something to friend: Apparently all of England's problems can't be solved by strangling an old guy!

–Roosevelt Island

Guy with thick accent: Where you get off to the Walton Center?
NY chick: The what?
Guy with thick accent: The Walton Center.
NY chick: Do you know what street it's on?
Guy with thick accent: No, no. You know, the Walton Center.
NY chick: I'm sorry, I don't know where that is.
Guy with thick accent: The Walton Center! The buildings, they fall, they fall!
NY chick: You mean the World Trade Center?
Guy with thick accent: Yes!
NY chick: Fulton Street and fuck you.

–Uptown 5 Train

Man with cowboy hat: I think I'm gonna do the biscuit.
Chinese woman behind counter: Parfait?
Man with cowboy hat: Huh? Um, no. I'm gonna do the biscuit.
Chinese woman: Parfait.
Man with cowboy hat: No, thank you. (walks away)

–Deli, 53rd St

Overheard by: AdHoculi

Hobo #1: Yo, what it is brah?
Hobo #2: I don't know man, what it is witchyou?
Hobo #1: I don't know man, but I'm tryin' to get it!

–Washington Square Park